A Story about Josef Warkany
"Of Dreaming on Solid Grounds"

Wladimir Wertelecki, M. D.
(Amer. J. Med. Genet. 33:522, 1989)

" A child suffering from congenital malformations can no longer be dogmatically held as a portent of parental genetic "flaws" nor can a fetus be considered immune from environmental assaults." From his earliest contributions to the influential Mitchell-Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics, Dr. Josef Warkany foretold the importance of prenatal factors in diseases of children.

In 1957, Dr. Josef Warkany, at the request of the then President of the March of Dimes Foundation, Mr. Basil O'Connor, set the course of the Foundation from polyomelitis toward the study of birth defects. In 1959, Dr. Warkany became the first President of the American Teratology Society dedicated to the study of environmental causes of congenital malformations.


Vigorous exchange of views between B. O'Connor and J. Warkany

In 1971, Dr. Warkany produced a classic treatise on congenital malformations and illustrated the contents with some of his etchings. In this regard, Dr. Warkany was recognized in "Who is Who in American Art" for his artistic renditions of various subjects. Among the most popular are "The Patient's view", "Surplus", and "Social Security".

In 1986, Dr. Warkany was honored as the first recipient of the March of Dimes Basil O'Connor Award in recognition of his outstanding scientific contributions and medical achievements. Among these achievements is the elimination of acrodynia, once a painful common disorder of childhood resulting from chronic mercury poisoning from the use of once popular "teething powders".

Josef Warkany - Mobile 1990

In Mobile, Alabama (1990).


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